Venezuelan President welcomes OPEC oil production freeze deal

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has hailed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) agreement on daily oil output freeze as a “historic” deal that will help stabilize the oil market.

On Wednesday, OPEC oil producing countries reached a preliminary deal on the sidelines of an international energy forum in Algiers, Algeria. The output ceiling was set at 32.5-33 million barrels a day for the whole cartel. The date of oil output freeze is expected to be presented at the cartel’s upcoming meeting in November. OPEC also decided to establish a technical committee to identify the production volume of individual member-states, Sputnik reported.

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“The Algeria agreement reflects the tireless efforts of Venezuela for nearly two years to search of a consensus to stabilize the oil market and reduce the negative effects of financial speculation and futures markets in hydrocarbon production and revitalizes the role of OPEC in the balance of economic and geopolitical forces involved in the global economy,” a Thursday statement, released on Venezuela’s official presidential website says.

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Global oversupply and stagnating demand have caused oil prices to plunge from $115 per barrel in June 2014 to less than $30 per barrel in January 2016. Prices recovered amid Nigerian, Canadian and Venezuelan output outages and growing demand in May, reaching a peak of over $50 per barrel in early June. Crude prices are currently fluctuating between $40 and $50 per barrel.